Schering-Plough Animal Health Announces First Poultry Vaccine Available for Georgia 98 Bronchitis Type

US - Schering-Plough Animal Health Corporation has introduced the first commercially available vaccine for protecting broilers against Georgia 98, a relatively new type of infectious bronchitis in U.S. poultry.
calendar icon 10 October 2005
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Called AVIMUNE™ IB98, the live-virus vaccine is administered as a coarse spray, which minimizes lower respiratory tract reaction, to healthy chickens 1 day of age or older to prevent disease due to Georgia 98 type of infectious bronchitis (IB) - so named for the state and year in which it was discovered. Georgia 98 has also been isolated in Alabama, South Carolina and North Carolina.

"There's more Georgia 98 out there than people realize and, as of today, SHOR-BRON®-D (Delaware type 072) vaccine in the hatchery is the most effective way of prevention, because this vaccine cross-protects against the Georgia 98 strain," says Dr. Charlie Brossard, director of global poultry technical services, Schering-Plough Animal Health.

While it is true that SHOR-BRON-D vaccine provides some protection against Georgia 98, the new vaccine has shown remarkably high efficacy against the new type of IB.

In experimental trials, more than 90 percent of birds vaccinated with AVIMUNE IB98 vaccine were protected against a virulent challenge with Georgia 98 strain, which is higher than the USDA standard requirement for a poultry IB vaccine. All of the unvaccinated chickens in the study became infected with the virus.

"The two vaccines complement each other very well because SHOR-BRON-D has been shown to provide some cross protection against Georgia 98," Broussard says. "However, producers will find AVIMUNE IB 98 much easier to use in the field because it's freeze-dried and can be used as needed, with no special storage considerations, other than keeping it in refrigeration, just as other live vaccines."

Another study demonstrated that the live virus in the vaccine does not become more virulent when passed from bird to bird. "An important safety feature of a live IB vaccine is its inability to revert to virulence when passed from bird to bird," Broussard says. "Trials show that this is not a problem with AVIMUNE IB98 after five passages, so producers can use the vaccine with confidence."

In addition, AVIMUNE IB98 has proved to be highly safe when used in day-old birds. When AVIMUNE IB98 was given at 10 times the recommended dose, only mild reactions - common in live IB vaccines - occurred 7 to 10 days following administration. AVIMUNE IB98 was found to be four times less reactive than a vaccine with the traditional Connaught Massachusetts IB strain, which has been used in broiler chickens for decades to protect against IB.

"The results showed that the virus in AVIMUNE IB98 is well attenuated and safe, even when administered at 10 times the recommended dosage rate," Broussard reports.

AVIMUNE IB98 is lyophilized (freeze-dried) for optimum stability and packaged in 10 x 5,000 and 10 x 10,000 dose units. The vaccine has a high concentration of antigens needed to stimulate immune response. The virus is cloned to create a consistent population, which provides greater stability to the vaccine.

While AVIMUNE IB98 is approved for use in chicks 1 day of age or older, it is expected to be used primarily at 14 to 16 days of age and administered to chicks with a hand-held sprayer. This allows AVIMUNE IB98 to be delivered at the same time as other vaccines for maximum efficiency, Broussard explains. In the hatchery, producers have the option of using Schering-Plough Animal Health's field-proven SHOR-BRON-D vaccine.

Avimune IB98 complements the other Schering-Plough Animal Health monovalent and combination respiratory vaccines to meet current respiratory field challenges. Those vaccines can be used as part of new program recently introduced by Schering-Plough Animal Health. Called Precision Respiratory Protection, the program allows producers to customize their vaccine regimens to fit their particular needs for respiratory disease prevention

For example, single antigens may be added to combination vaccines to match field exposure to variant bronchitis challenges. Producers also can custom mix single antigens to target only the strains found in their flocks. "Precision Respiratory Protection lets you maximize your protection and reduce risk with unique antigens, equipment and expertise," Broussard says.

For more information about AVIMUNE IB98 and Precision Respiratory Protection, producers should contact their local Schering-Plough Animal Health poultry representative or call 1-800-356-7470.
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